DIY Whipped Tallow Balm

4oz jar of whipped tallow balm sitting on a wooden table with a spoonful in front of it
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Are you looking for an anti-aging solution to your skin care routine?

What if I told you that you could have glowing, nourished skin in the middle of winter with simple, local ingredients?

Tallow balm has been prized for skincare for centuries because it’s highly compatible with our skin and packed full of anti-aging nutrients. Unfortunately, we’ve been stuck in an era that has glorified plant oils and you are a human; not a plant. Plant oils just aren’t quite as compatible with our skin, plus they are often imported from halfway across the world.

I know it seems weird to rub beef fat on your face, but hear me out!

What is Beef Tallow?

Beef tallow is simply beef fat that has been rendered (cooked down) to remove impurities and is shelf-stable as a result. 

The process of rendering is super simple! All you need to do is gently cook finely-chopped suet (raw beef fat) in a double-boiler or crockpot (on low) for a few hours, strain it and boom, you have tallow! You can read more about the process in this great article by The Prairie Homestead.

What Are the Benefits of Tallow Balm?

Benefits of tallow balm listed: beneficial fats, fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants. To the right are jars of skincare creams.

Beneficial fats and fat-soluble vitamins

Tallow is rich in oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid – all known for their abilities to deeply penetrate the skin and prevent water loss from the skin’s surface (study). It’s also full of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K!

Antioxidants

Tallow is loaded with antioxidants, which can reduce oxidative stress and signs of aging. The naturally-present antioxidants also inhibit microbial growth and oxidation of the product itself, which increases its shelf-life and makes for an anti-inflammatory ingredient for cooking and skin care.

Tallow quality

Be careful with your rendering temps! A 2021 study showed that more antioxidants are preserved when lower rendering temperatures are used. High heat can cause undesirable degradation of antioxidants.

Cows standing in a line outdoors - 5 black cows and a brown one in the middle.

Another important thing to note is make sure that you are using high-quality tallow from healthy cows. Ideally, that means finding a local farmer whose cows were allowed to live a natural life out on pasture, eating greens and enjoying the sun on their backs. Definitely no antibiotic use! This ensures that you are getting the most nutritious, anti-inflammatory product, but also less toxins.

Toxins are stored in fat (study). Therefore, if you’re using tallow from a cow that was stuck in a feedlot, eating corn sprayed with herbicides and being injected with antibiotics… you’re rendering down a high toxin load and then spreading it on your body to be rapidly absorbed. No thanks!

What is Tallow Balm Used For?

I think a better question is, what can’t tallow balm be used for?! Tallow balm is such a versatile product that can be used for anything from a simple moisturizer to a therapeutic treatment.

  • Daily moisturizer
  • Healing dry, cracked skin
  • Eczema
  • Dermatitis
  • Diaper Rash
  • Anti-aging face cream

Is Tallow Balm Greasy?

Definitely not! What makes tallow so wonderful is that it has a fat profile very similar to our own skin, so it quickly absorbs and nourishes.

Where Can I Buy Beef Tallow?

As I mentioned above, it is super SUPER important that you are sourcing organic, grass-finished tallow (or suet, which is raw beef fat) from a farmer that you trust. We get raw suet from our favorite local CSA (TC Farm) and render it down ourselves.

A consumer shaking hands with a farmer over a crow of potato plants and exchanging money

If you aren’t already connected with a local CSA, I’d recommend checking out FarmMatch, Local Harvest or the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to see if you can find one near you! 

When you are CSA shopping, confirm they are offering organic and grass-finished beef products. Finding a CSA that offers other products that you might be interested in (eggs, raw milk, wool, etc!) is a bonus! That way the CSA can become a one-stop-shop for you!

How Do I Make Tallow Balm?

Alright now we’ve come down to the important part. Making the dang stuff. Only 3 ingredients!

  • ½ cup tallow
  • 2 Tbsp oil of your choice
  • 10 drops of essential oil(s) – optional

Gently melt the tallow in a double boiler, then remove from heat and mix in the oil and essential oil(s). If you don’t already have a double boiler, this is the one that I use: Stainless Steel Double Boiler Pot. Only $10!

Melting tallow in a double boiler on a gas range.

Let cool until slightly hardened. Then, mix using a hand mixer until whipped and soft. Scoop into a glass container and enjoy!

Whipping tallow balm with a hand mixer

If you really want to take your tallow balm to the next level…

Start by infusing the warmed tallow with a medicinal herb for 2 hours in a double-boiler. Herbs that are known for their soothing and healing properties make good choices such as calendula, plantain, chamomile or comfrey. Once infused, strain out the herb and continue the recipe recipe with your infused tallow. 

Mason jar filled with dried calendula blooms sitting on a kitchen island.

I love to grow and use my dried calendula blooms! They have intense healing and soothing properties that are quite amazing. Calendula is super easy to grow and self-seeds so you can enjoy it year after year. Get your own calendula seeds at my favorite store, High Mowing Seeds!

Variations

Types of oils you can use

The reason why you need to add some oil to your tallow balm is because tallow is fairly hard at room temperature. Adding a little oil softens it up so it’s easier to spread. Don’t use coconut oil because it’s also solid at room temperature. Pick a liquid oil 🙂

  • Grapeseed oil – This is the kind that I use since I already have it on hand to season my cast iron cookware 🙂
  • Almond oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Rosehip seed oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Argan oil

Types of essential oils

Adding essential oils is completely optional. If you want a simple, unscented tallow balm, go for it! Otherwise, a few drops of essential oils is a great way to customize your product and introduce additional benefits.

3 bottles of essential oils in a row with bundles of dried lavender on each side

I like essential oil blends so that I don’t have to worry about mixing and matching. Plus, I like that they are created for a certain purpose like these blends below that are specific to skin health:

You can use individual oils as well. According to doTERRA, these are the 10 best essential oils for your skin:

  1. Frankincense
  2. Yarrow|Pom
  3. Lavender
  4. Tea Tree
  5. Helichrysum
  6. Bergamot
  7. Jasmine
  8. Sandalwood
  9. Rose
  10. Roman Chamomile

Where Can I Buy Tallow Balm?

Not ready to make it yourself? No problem! You can find some like minded individuals who can make it for you. 

Other Recipes You’ll Love

4oz jar of whipped tallow balm sitting on a wooden table with a spoonful in front of it
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5 from 3 votes

DIY Whipped Tallow Balm

Tallow balm has been prized for skincare for centuries because it’s highly compatible with our skin and packed full of anti-aging nutrients. Make your own with my easy 3-ingredient recipe!
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time5 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Keyword: balm, cream, DIY, lotion, nourishing, skincare, tallow
Yield: 4 oz

Equipment

Materials

  • 4 oz Tallow Organic, Grass-Finished
  • 2 Tbsp Oil of your choice Grapeseed, almond, avocado, rosehip, jojoba or argan
  • 10 drops Essential Oil Optional

Instructions

  • Gently melt tallow in a double boiler
  • Remove from heat. Mix in the oil and essential oil(s)
  • Let cool until slightly hardened.
  • Mix using a hand or standing mixer until whipped and soft.
  • Scoop into a glass container and enjoy!

Notes

If you really want to take your tallow balm to the next level, infuse the warmed tallow with a medicinal herb for 2 hours in a double-boiler. Once infused, strain out the herb and continue the recipe with your infused tallow. 

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12 thoughts on “DIY Whipped Tallow Balm”

  1. I love this! I’m always trying to find something that is better for my skin and with my psoriasis I have to be really careful. Thank you for this post!

  2. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! I have such dry hands and elbows in the winter, that I need super strength moisture to keep them from cracking and hurting. This looks great and I love that I can control (and know) what goes into it. Thanks for sharing!

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